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Orange County’s congressional candidates view Jan. 6 differently

A serious threat to democracy. A protest went awry. A tragic day for the country.

The viewpoints of Jan. 6, 2021 — what it was and its impact on the U.S. — run the gamut among Orange County’s congressional candidates.

When asked by the Register, all six Democrats, incumbents and challengers, had the same answer: Jan. 6 was a “serious threat to democracy.”

Republicans’ viewpoints varied, if they answered the question at all.

“January 6, 2021, was a tragic and sad day for our country. Everyone who had a hand in the awful events of that day should be ashamed, and those that broke the law should be prosecuted,” said Brian Maryott, the Republican candidate for CA-49.

But Eric Ching, a Walnut council member who is vying for CA-38, and Christopher Gonzales, an Irvine attorney running for CA-46, both labeled the riot as a “protest that got carried away.”

At least five people died during the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and in the aftermath.

A bipartisan House panel held its final public hearing of the year on Thursday, Oct. 13 — part of its long-ranging probe into the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol in the wake of the 2020 presidential election. It unanimously voted to subpoena former President Donald Trump, a “central player” in the attack.

The committee is starting to sum up its findings that Republican Trump, after losing the election, launched an unprecedented attempt to stop Congress from certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. The result was the mob storming of the Capitol.

“None of this is normal or acceptable or lawful in a republic,” Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the committee, said. “There is no defense that Donald Trump was duped or irrational. No president can defy the rule of law and act this way in a constitutional republic, period.”

Every Orange County congressional candidate was asked “which best describes your view of Jan. 6, 2021” as part of the Register’s Voter Guide questionnaire. The choices were:

• A serious threat to democracy

• A protest that got carried away

• A justifiable use of force

Candidates could also choose an “other” option with the ability to write in an opinion.

Incumbent GOP Reps. Michelle Steel and Young Kim declined to participate in the Voter Guide. A campaign spokesman for Steel said she declined to respond to the question for this story; a representative for Kim did not respond.

Scott Baugh, a former Republican Assembly leader who is challenging Rep. Katie Porter in CA-47, also declined to participate in the questionnaire or respond to a follow-up request.

Should Republicans win the House after the 2022 midterm elections, the Jan. 6 probe is expected to be dropped.

More than 850 people have been charged by the Justice Department for their roles in the insurrection, and some have received lengthy prison sentences. Leaders and members of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys have been charged with sedition.

Trump faces various state and federal investigations over his actions in the election and its aftermath.

On his Truth Social app Thursday, Trump accused the committee of attempting to “further divide our Country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


Source: Orange County Register

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